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Paid search is 'always-on' and a numbers game that needs to be aligned with your offline marketing strategy to reap maximum rewards.

In our recent Paid Search Best Practice Guide, which includes over 300+ pages of tips and best practice, we outline how these ads can support cross-channel marketing campaigns.

Read on for three tips from contributor Chris Camacho, Head of Paid Search at Starcom MediaVest Group

Although marketing activity through paid search has become more important, this does not mean that above the line marketing campaigns are less important.

On the contrary, above the line is even more essential to drive awareness in an ever-increasingly noisy environment. Above the line media can generate search demand and interest in a brand is a prerequisite to a paid search campaign. As such, paid search can close the loop between off and online, and is therefore a pivotal medium in increasing brand favourability and channelling purchase intent.

Here is a list of tactics that may prove useful in integrating paid search with your offline communications.

Echo above the line messaging in paid search copy.

Paid search ad copy offers a great opportunity to reinforce your above the line campaign’s messaging. Search ads are also a great space to communicate offers, promotions and new products, which can be the substance of an above the line campaign. Since paid search ads are rapid to change, this can be a great method to quickly align a search results with offline communications.

The example below shows a paid search ad that Pizza Hut ran during the Jubilee celebrations in May 2012 to communicate their new Crown Crust Pizza...

It’s important that you make sure your search ads communicate the same message as your other communication channels, to maximise brand exposure and to ensure the consumer experience is seamless.

Use a search call-to-action

This is especially important for above the line campaigns that are explicitly driving customers to go or search online with a ‘search for’ tag in TV or print media. Customers can be reassured that the paid search ad is relating to the above the line media ad they have seen and also will be immediately taken to the information they were looking for.

The example on the below shows a paid search ad directing users to the Samsung David Bailey page on Facebook promoting the NX camera. The TV ad included a call-to-action to search for “we are David Bailey”.

Ideally, you want to make sure your brand dominates the search results (as in the example above for Samsung).

This is the case if the campaign and the search call-to-action are unique enough to ensure you have high share of voice to close the loop between above the line media and your website.

Coverage on key terms from your advertising campaign

This could take the form of terms for your TV script or from the press ad copy. Try and pick terms that might stand out from your advertising which users may then search for to recapture them and get them to engage with your website.

The benefit of thinking about this early is two-fold:

  • When writing the script or the print ad copy, think about inserting terms that will stand out or that can be easily dominated by paid and natural search.
  • Optimise website content for natural search early so that there is presence in the organic search results.

This is why it is important to think about search as an integral part of all your advertising communications: the relationship should be reciprocal with search feeding into above the line and above the line driving into search.

What are your views on a joined-up approach to Paid Search Best Practice

Ryan Sommer

Published 20 March, 2013 by Ryan Sommer

Ryan Sommer is web veteran and recovering expat who contributes to Econsultancy on startups, content marketing and new media. You can connect with him on LinkedIn, follow him on Twitter, or add him to your circles on Google+

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